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I’ve become more of a morning person as I’ve got older. I love sleep and try to be in bed by 9pm and asleep by 10pm. That way, when I wake naturally around 6am, I don’t feel hideous. Once I’m up, I’m awake and fully functioning and before anything else, I'll reach for some of evian's natural mineral water to make sure I start the day hydrated.**
I have a cup of coffee first thing using my coffee machine and then a couple more throughout the morning. Coffee is a great source of polyphenols which can help combat oxidative stress; it also increases brain transmitters like serotonin. It’s sad I know, but I genuinely look forward to my morning coffee and the routine of heading downstairs to make it when the house is quiet. I love the taste, of course, but it’s also the ritual that I savour as it gives me a tiny window of time to go slow before the chaos of the day begins.
I don’t have breakfast until I’m home from the school run around 9am. This suits me as I try to keep to an 8-hour window of eating to give my digestive system a long break overnight. We eat early with the kids, around 5.30pm, which also works within that timeframe. Breakfast is almost always chia seed pudding, which I make to my own recipe of frozen mango, chia seeds, coconut yoghurt and maple syrup. It’s simple but so delicious. At the start of the week, I make enough for a few days and then add fresh toppings every morning, usually dried sour cherries, whatever nuts I have to hand and some blueberries. It’s quick to make and, because chia seeds and nuts are a great source of protein, it keeps me full until lunchtime. I don’t eat red meat so I can struggle to get enough protein, which means I’m always looking for ways to build in extra where I can.
Historically, I’ve always struggled to drink enough water. I used to only drink sparkling but recently I’ve made the switch over to still natural mineral water and it’s paying off. As with everything, it takes time to make something a habit, but I’ve got into the routine of taking two big bottles of evian’s natural mineral water to my office in the morning and keeping them on my desk where I can see them. I’m old school, so I don’t have a fancy big cup with a straw. It sounds silly but if I can see through the bottles then I know how much I’ve got left and that’s the kind of motivation I need! I've always made an effort to consciously drink plenty of water as staying hydrated is a key priority for me.**
If I’m not at launches or meeting with PRs, my day-to-day job is very screen heavy. If I’ve got an especially busy day of Zoom calls and deadlines, I can go hours without pausing for breath or even looking up from my laptop. It’s not good and always makes me feel drained and groggy, so I try my hardest to schedule in breaks, which I do by setting alarms. I try to have a break every 30 minutes, even if it’s just going downstairs to make a cup of tea (only ever herbal, my go to is a blend of liquorice, fennel and aniseed), or having a glass of water and stepping out into the garden to give my eyes a break.
In the spring and summer, I always take my shoes off, stretch my toes and stop to feel the ground underneath them. Either that or go around the garden and talk to my plants and flowers, stopping to feel the leaves and petals in my fingers. It might sound a bit woo-woo but that physical connection to nature really helps to get me out of my head and press pause on any work-related stresses before things get overwhelming.
If I’m at home, lunch is a chopped salad with whatever is in the fridge – usually red cabbage, a boiled egg, some goat’s cheese, chopped apple, cucumber, sweetcorn, seeds and anything else that can be easily chucked in. If I fancy something warm, then it’s a three-egg omelette with greens that I keep stashed in the freezer.
Beating The Bloat
Last year, I had an online consultation with a brilliant nutritionist and one of the biggest takeaways was to eat something fermented every day. My digestion has always been a bit problematic, and I’ve suffered with chronic bloating, gluten sensitivity and general discomfort for years. Since I’ve been following this advice, I’d say my issues are about 70% improved. It’s not as hard to do as it sounds either. As a family, we eat a lot of tofu and I sip miso soup – and of course water – throughout the day when I’ve had enough tea and coffee. I also keep kefir in the fridge and I add a dollop of sauerkraut to almost every meal. I prefer raw sauerkraut because it retains all the beneficial bacteria that’s needed to foster and maintain a healthy gut microbiome.
Cortisol, how it affects us and how to control it is something I’m really interested in. While some stress is good for us, too much is really debilitating. I have three kids and a full-time job, so life is very busy, and I often feel like a tightly wound spring. Keeping my stress levels as low as I can and my cortisol production in check is essential. I am a huge proponent of bathing to relax and induce better sleep but also because it actively reduces cortisol levels and triggers the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. I rarely ever bathe without something in the water. Epsom salts are a failsafe for easing tension and helping with water retention, but I also adore bath foams for their soothing froth when I need to wind down and quieten a racing mind.
Blowing Hot & Cold
I don’t believe in resolutions but this year I am adopting a ‘challenge mindset’. This means I’m opening myself up to trying new things in the hope they’ll stick and become habits. Having tried wild swimming in the gorgeous lake at Heckfield Place, I am determined to do more. If the logistics of juggling kids’ dinners and my deadlines don’t allow the wild part, then I’d like to get more into cold water therapy for the immune-boosting benefits and the mental clarity it brings. Right now, I’m excited by plug-in-and-go ice baths. I'll always ensure I stay hydrated too with evian's natural mineral water, drinking at least two litres of fluid throughout the day post-swim to support my physical and mental function.**
On the flipside, I’m also a big sauna person. If money was no object, I’d have a sauna in my garden. I find regular use helps with everything but especially sleep and mood. I want to try more infrared saunas this year too and have my eyes set on a sauna blanket, which helps boost circulation, flush out toxins and soothe sore muscles. They also encourage me to stay hydrated and to drink more water.
I’m a big believer in sleep as the cure-all for pretty much everything. Because of that I prioritise good, restorative sleep as often as I can. I have a few non-negotiables to ease my path to slumber, such as sleep drops and sprays in a soothing herbal scented vegan sleep mask which blocks out every drop of light. Although I tend to work in the evenings, I’m trying to set stricter boundaries on my device usage before bed because the blue light from screens prevents your body from secreting the melatonin you need for a good night’s sleep.
Instead of staring at a screen or scrolling, I’ve become a fan of soundscapes to help take my mind somewhere else, but I’ll also often choose a sleep-based meditation. I enjoy tracking my sleep and physical activity. Since doing this last year, I’ve become obsessed and am so impressed with the level of detail and personalised data available.
For me wellness and beauty are intertwined, so my skincare routine at the end of the day isn’t just about taking my make-up off. It’s about reconnecting with myself, feeling the grooves of my face with my fingers and grounding myself after an invariably long, busy day. I try to take my time when I’m cleansing as not only is it important for sparkling skin, but also for improving circulation and releasing tension.
I love using LED, and used regularly, blue, red and infrared settings can improve clarity and suppleness, and leave skin luminous. Because I am such a big LED nut, I use a light therapy device too as often as I can. It’s essentially a large LED panel that can be used to treat different areas on the body – it’s especially great for reducing inflammation and easing sore muscles.
*Evian is pure, as all natural mineral waters
**Drinking at least two litres of fluid (including water) a day contributes to the maintenance of normal physical and cognitive functions
***Emma Raducanu will continue to be evian’s Global Brand Ambassador in 2024, staying hydrated and rejuvenated with its natural mineral water both on and off the court. Discover more about evian’s range of water on Evian.com.